Audio version now available too: https://www.facebook.com/102475607821736/posts/130508895018407?sfns=mo
Dear readers and listeners,
If you solidly believe that a supernatural force emerged from hell, taking over Christopher Lee Watts in Nichol’s dark apartment, this review is not for you. If you believe that it’s possible, but are open to dissecting his story, please continue. If you think a woman he barely knew caused him to kill his entire family, I exhort you to stick around and read further. Here is your spoiler alert warning: I will be quoting the book. If you would like to read the book first, come back when you are done.
Searching for truth,
True Crime Case Analysis
Chapter 1: Jesus Capabilities
Recall the following in the 2nd confession? “It felt like a rollercoaster ride that I just kept punching the ticket on and never could get off.”
Well thanks to Chris’s many stories, I know exactly what he means now. I keep punching my ticket to one of those looping and reversing kind of rollercoasters. Definitely not the ride you see below with Chris, Bella, and Celeste This analogy was used during a reflective moment he had when he discussed his relationship with Nichol. Did he truly mean Nichol though? Shanann and Chris Watts’ marriage fits much more accurately. We will be covering the dynamics of their relationship in this analysis.
The Watts’ family story is far from black & white, or most of us would not still be following along. While it is not simple, I highly doubt it’s as complex as the book and others following this case seem to portray. Nothing has ever been proven that would indicate anyone else having been in that house on the morning of 8/13. Since that is a fact, this leaves us with only two people who could have killed the children. Clearly they did not kill themselves at just 3 & 4 years old.
The core of Chris’s letters to the author contain the original narrative promoted by the media, with twists of supernatural forces and biblical loops.
I spend a great deal of time pondering my thoughts before beginning these posts. I think of how to outline it, which points are most important, and how to make it flow. This time I couldn’t even think of how to start this until I started to type. There’s just so much to be discussed and analyzed. There is a point in the book that left me in stitches. I don’t say that to come across as heartless, believe me. I am saying it to be transparent with my thoughts and reactions. I feel these statements kinda gives the gist of the book. Let’s start there then we will reverse & loop back to the beginning.
When I saw in the Daily Mail last week that Chris said, “They woke BACK up” my initial reaction was, “That’s just ludicrous!” Second thought, “well that’s far reaching but I “suppose” if he had not succeeded, then MAYBE.” Well, no more second thoughts for me, that’s for sure! Chris said and I quote, “I still do not know how that happened because I know they were dead the first time.” As the timeline progressed to loading the girls in the truck he further wrote, “I could not believe they came back to life.”
No, I am not kidding. These statements right here are the two most important and ridiculous key points in the entire book. Unless Bella & Celeste Watts had the capabilities of Jesus, they simply did not resurrect themselves from the dead.
They were beautiful, silly little girls, but they did not have supernatural powers. Can we agree on that?
Chapter 2: Shift in Reverse
I am not an author, nor have I have ever written a book. I do not claim to be anything that I am not. I am a woman, wife, and mother who follows true crime cases, and decided one day to start a blog. This was due to the sheer amount of interest in what I think and what I know. I know I am not perfect at this side gig and I strive to do better with each blog post. I will say that if I had written a book of this magnitude, I would have ensured I had an excellent team to back me up. That, unfortunately, does not seem to be the case in this situation. I will commend the author for her efforts and time spent trying to bring this to the public. That’s about all I can kindly say.
The way I do these blog posts is to read or listen multiple times. The last run-through is when I screenshot or note every statement I want to cover. Go grab some coffee because I have hundreds of screenshots to cover.
Chapter 3: From the Beginning
Like most books, it starts off with a title, disclaimer, copyright, acknowledgements, and introduction. It then begins, and as I said, these are lines that stood out to ME that I am going analyze. Let’s get to it.
“I want you, my dearest readers, to understand that I tried to write this book as unbiased as possible.”
— Much of the book, about seventy percent, (guesstimate) is the Discoveries — almost verbatim. The author included it as part of the timeline and to fill in gaps. Many times she jumps all over and did not stick to the timeline. One can easily spot when she inserted her opinion. Nothing wrong with that, as I often do the same. The difference being I tend to stick to words that make it clear it’s my opinion. I never try to word my opinion as fact. Words I use are, “I believe” or even “I think.” This is not done and it’s often hard to tell what is from Chris or the author. As we continue, if it seems scattered, it is not my fault. I am going in order of how the book was outlined.
“My goal is to tell this travesty with the utmost respect to Shanann, Bella, Celeste, baby Nico, and all the family members involved.”
— I have to say overall, I do not feel she succeeded in this goal. A book containing a supposed new confession without blessings from both families is not the utmost respect. The author reached out to both families and the Rzucek’s did not seem interested. The book is written like a crime fiction book with added components of supernatural capabilities, dark forces & events, and an evil, sneaky temptress who lured Chris into a steamy, risky love affair. In the mix of all that, leading up to the murder of the girls with daddy as their killer, felt very much like a warped Disney movie. Evil daddy, Chris Watts, playing the part of the big bad villain. Except it just does not quite fit. There is a constant repetitive push for the readers to believe Chris fits his “monster” title. Something feels off about that — it almost resembles a sales pitch that is relentlessly trying to get you to buy into an idea.
“I wasn’t sure what my moral responsibilities were with the information he was giving me. I didn’t want to be the one to hurt anyone else, and this information would clearly hurt many people. However, I cannot change the facts, and for the family to completely heal they deserve to know the truth.”
—Fact? How are Chris’s words fact? How does she know what he is saying is factual information? It’s not up for anyone to decide what the families need in order to heal. A book of words of which you have no idea whether are true or not does not seem like a way to help families heal. I mean these families are strangers to her and clearly she’s never been through what they have to know what they need. How does she know another story would be helpful to them? I would think it would cause more psychological, mental, and emotional turmoil. Once again, all out in the public eye! I wonder if it would have been better to share Chris’s words privately if she was all about the truth and healing for the families. Is a very sought after book a good platform to carry a possible false store of triple homicide including an unborn baby? Everything about this case is public, even before their deaths their lives were set to public on Facebook. I am all about freedom of speech and I have nothing against the writing of a true crime story. This is not simply the retelling of a crime; this book was promoted as another confession that no one else has heard.
“He knew if he told me he was blaming something other than himself for the murders, or if he denied that the responsibility of killing Shanann and the girls fell solely on him and only him, I would not write his story.”
—Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. The author claimed she was out to obtain the truth and facts for the purpose of sharing those “facts” to help the families hear the truth and begin to heal. These sentences above show she was not seeking truth. Matter of fact, this is similar to what District attorney Rourke did to Chris as well. When negotiations were underway for a plea deal, Rourke stated he would not accept anything but all the charges. Admitting full guilt to every charge, nothing less. Chris was also cornered in the second confession; he knew they did not show up in Wisconsin to hear Shanann killed the kids again. In order to get them to leave him alone, he gave them what they traveled there for. How can you venture out to seek truth but give an ultimatum? Chris seemed to want his testimony out there; in order to do such he had to comply with the author’s demand. Truth? This is seeking truth? Absolutely not! In complete transparency, this really angered me. She caught his attention by saying that he may still have a purpose, yet wanted to control that purpose. No other confession is written in this book because she would not have written it then.
In first confession, he was also cornered after failing a polygraph. He told his dad they were not going let him leave and began to tell of Shanann killing the kids. A few days later, when he was formally charged he found out they did not believe his story.
First: They did not believe him.
Plea deal: If you want no trial, you must accept all charges, nothing less.
Second: Cornered him in Wisconsin.
Third: Either accept responsibility or no book with your testimony.
Chapter 4: Applying Logic & Critical Thinking
“He is guilty; there was never any question whether or not Shanann killed the girls.”
—There are absolutely questions out there as to whether or not Shanann killed the girls. There are many questions and thousands who believe that very thing. He IS guilty? In a court of law, yes absolutely, since he was convicted through a plea deal. Proven guilty? Oh no, no, no, it has not even remotely been proven that Chris is indeed guilty of every charge he pled guilty. A plea deal while you are taking on guilt does not mean you are indeed guilty, except in the legal system. Such definitive statements with no proof —this an example of her opinion worded like a fact.
“Christopher told me he only said that because the FBI agent gave him the idea during interrogation.”
—People on Facebook constantly said, “Detectives used the Reid method.” I am well aware of the Reid method and also the backlash and scrutiny this method has received. However, Chris blamed Shanann from that Monday morning. First, by saying she went on a play date, then implying she may have taken off (finding her ring) due to their argument. From the very first phone call Chris received on site that day he blamed Shanann for her and the girls being missing. Before Chris’s polygraph, as Tammy was explaining what would be asked, Chris inquired if the girls would be looped in his answers about Shanann. Remember they only asked questions relating to Shanann. If the girls looped into his answers there would have been no way to decipher if he was guilty of harming just Shanann or all. Why were no questions asked about the girls? This would have saved a lot of speculation over the last year. Not admissible in court, but would have maybe confirmed their suspicions were likely right. Let’s take this point a little further: Chris told detectives when they were in Wisconsin that the polygraph turned his brain to mush. The polygraph led to a lengthy interrogation and a confession in the end. If the polygraph process turned his brain to mush, what was his brain like after interrogation on top of that? Could he have really had the mental capacity at that point to throw a story together on the fly? A story out of all three stories that really had no holes? A story that later matched what little evidence is in the Discoveries? Tammy had told Chris about a woman in Castle Rock who smothered both her baby girls. It actually was not two girls; it was a boy and a girl based on my research and it involved a custody battle. She continued on saying that mom thought she was doing right by them and saving them the pain. At that moment, Chris’s demeanor changed his voice almost sounded in mild agony as he asked “WHY?” He looked directly at Tammy when he asked. He then asked, “How’s she saving them pain?” To which Tammy replied, “The mom did not want them to live a life without her.” This “WHY” also matches the author’s claim that Chris researched WHY parents kill their children.
Few minutes later, Chris starts to crack and you can tell he was feeling the pressure. In a boy like manner he asked for his father: his hero. Minutes? He came up with Shanann killing the girls in minutes? Based on all I just wrote there’s simply no way I can believe that. I believe the detectives were asking about Shanann because based off all they had seen, it was plausible she could have done something. They actually pegged Shanann pretty well during interrogation. Describing her the way so many have. They even seemed to sense from Chris that he was loyal, protects the ones he loves, and not a take control kind of man. That was said in both the first and second confession.
The Discoveries showed a re-enactment of his claim that proved it was possible he saw what he claimed. His story included going downstairs after they argued, which lined up with the movement downstairs at 4:23 a.m. that morning. Shanann’s texts within the Discoveries conveyed a struggling, combative, and vindictive woman. We reviewed those texts in length in the series you can find here: https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/06/22/vast-reasonable-doubt-part-one/
In my closing argument, I will be discussing further her texts again at the end of this series.
“His memory has come back to him in pieces he says the trauma took away parts of his memory.”
—Whether Chris killed all or not he would have likely suffered from the trauma. This is the brains’ defense mechanism to traumatic events. I have said since day one even when I thought he was entirely guilty that people need to consider the effects of trauma. I have witnessed family and friends who have endured horrific tragedies, one event being in NYC on 9/11. They suffered for many years after being involved with such that life altering day. With the story of Shanann killing the girls or with the idea he snapped, we can add in shock and the flight or fight response. These three aspects would have led an irrational mind to do things that just don’t make sense. Cue the oil tanks and disposing of the bodies at a work site. The last place he was the morning his family vanished!
Chris’ work truck had GPS and this was not kept from Chris; he was very well aware it did. Chris’ coworkers said he was really smart and knew every oil site better than most. Chris was familiar with CERVI 319 and had been there before during his time working for Anadarko. While it is a remote location, it is visited often by other companies and is privately owned land. At any given time, someone could have shown up on location unannounced. After Chris confessed the first time, it took law enforcement simply opening the top hatch to spot the girls in both tanks. Those tanks are checked a few times a year and disposing bodies in tanks often checked does not demonstrate a planned murder. To me it demonstrates a man who panicked and did not know what to do. It shows me adrenaline pumping and flight or fight taking over; he did not think, he just reacted in an irrational survival state of mind. This makes sense in the context of killing at least one person. One can not be rational in a moment of taking another’s life. Taking the bodies only to his work site was a huge risk in itself let alone to claim he committed double homicide out there too. Let’s get to that later into this analysis.
“There was something about this story that was not as simple as everything looked and I knew it.”
—I agree with this statement although, I do not believe we agree on the reason why it’s not as simple.
“I have a feeling if you were to ask any of the authorities who worked with this case, they would probably tell you it was very different from others they have worked on and that Christopher is different from any other perpetrator they have dealt with.”
Here we go — alluding to the idea that Chris is some form of new family murderer. The detectives pushed this idea in the second confession as well. Of all the murders that have occurred throughout history, Chris Watts, in the year 2019, formed a new definition of killer in the law enforcement handbooks? Who else cannot get on board with this idea?
After the quote above, the author went on to say, “Christopher says he felt evil spirits around him for a few weeks before the murders.”
—Ah! I get it. Chris is a new form of family murderer because he felt evil spirits leading up to the murder. That’s why he’s so different I guess? You may sense a little sarcasm in my words. If you do, you are right. That’s certainly sarcasm.
“As he took a mistress, he didn’t think there was still enough room for his family.”
—Really? At the beginning of his affair, he was already feeling like his wife and children were in his way? Seriously? This is a man, who, by EVERYONE’S account, was a loving, devoted, hands on, very involved father. A father who spoke of his children quite often and regularly more than anything else to many people. Every coworker mentioned Chris having spoken about his children and how they were his life.
“The small community where Christopher and Shanann lived became paralyzed with the news that Christopher Watts killed his family.”
—The media initially reported that Chris confessed to killing them all. That was false. It was not until 5 days later when the affidavit was unsealed that everyone found out his first confession. 5 long days had passed that allowed public opinion to be tainted keeping everyone in the dark. This was unfair in my opinion. While the media is known for running with stories, no one within law enforcement corrected this misinformation. When the affidavit was released to the public, I will never forget the outraged reactions at what it contained. The public already convicted and hated Chris by that point. My initial thought to the affidavit was there’s just no way like everyone else. As time went on the more I saw and read I started to ponder. I thought it’s not super common for someone to blame someone else and not only that, but for many to believe it to be possible. Furthermore, not only believe it’s possible but can absolutely see it being 100 percent true. What are the odds of that? Surely, a false confession blaming someone else has happened but with evidence would quickly prove that claim impossible. That did not happen; as more information was released to the public, the numbers of who believed his first confession grew. Wow.
“On August 15th, when it had become clear Christopher had killed his family…”
—Again, it was misinformation. Chris did not confess to killing all back then. No evidence had come out proving he did it not then or now.
Chapter 5: Monster?
“Christopher does not like to be called a murderer. He cares what people think of him and he couldn’t stand he was a hated man.”
—This lines up with the second confession when he shared that Frank referencing him “evil monster” as one of the things that stuck out to him at sentencing. A man who we are being told to believe is owning & divulging the murder of his entire family. Claiming premeditation and evil forces led him to do it for his mistress. That same man does not like to be called murderer? Monster? Clearly this tale is one of monstrous proportion. Besides a gruesome torturous murder, this story can not possibly get worse. Planning murders, killing children, killing wife, kids rising from the dead, loading the truck, driving a hour, killing them again, one child in front of another. All in the backseat of the same truck he used daily to provide food to those same people.
“All their friends loved Christopher, and thought he was one of the nicest, most gentle individuals you could ever meet. Everyone the police interviewed did not say one bad thing about Christopher.”
— This is accurate. No one said a bad thing besides repeating what Shanann had been telling them. Her own family did not have a single bad word and her father refused to lie.
“The cocky way in which he acted in front of the camera…”
— I never saw cocky; for me, I definitely thought he knew more than he was saying. Cocky, to me, was Scott Peterson always walking with his head high with what seemed to be a permanent smirk consistently. When I watch the interview now, I see a man completely disassociated from reality. Very overwhelmed and nervous, hence the rocking and stuttering.
“Christopher seemed so nice and thoughtful and sort of boyish. Even though shy and reserved, it did not take long for him to open up to me.”
—Basically, Chris has the same personality now as he did before this tragedy. He was also kind with the detectives, used his manners, apologized for lying. He had a boyish tone when he asked for his father. He claimed in the second confession he considered everyone when he took the plea deal. Chris is clearly shy and more of an introvert. In everything we have seen while reserved he seem to come out of his shell around his children. Chris was also responsible in areas of life he could control. His job said they never had issues with him not going to work or being late. His parents speak of being a well behaved teen who got good grades who had goals and aspirations. He worked hard to achieve something he really wanted to do, only to end up no longer doing it. One can say he exhibited being a very involved family man who always put his girls first.
“Later in the book you will read Christopher’s letter where he confesses the real truth, which is an extension of what he told FBI.”
—Real truth? Again we do not know if this is the truth. Extension of what he said in second confession? Absolutely not. It’s not like the second confession at all. He said he went into a rage and killed his family. He said they argued, had sex, then argued again before that happened, and so much more. This is not an extension by any means. He omitted, added, and lied in the second if the third is more accurate or true. How can he or the author expect anyone to believe that 3rd times a charm? Suddenly we are getting the full and accurate truth? When someone with a creative imagination, who now officially has history of lying, you can’t expect anyone to just accept his words.
“He is not covering for Shanann. Anyone saying he did not kill the girls based on the evidence is wrong. Christopher wants everyone to know he is guilty of killing all four human beings.”
—Woah there. This case has no concrete, undeniable proof showing who killed the kids. Therefore, no one is wrong or right! There is mostly circumstantial evidence and that should not be ignored. Christopher wants us to know he killed all four? Well his words don’t hold weight, but remember the author also wouldn’t allow anything other than those exact words.
“Christopher is hard to read he seems to have no emotions…”
—What emotions should one display in his current permanent circumstance? Is there a standard? His family is dead, he’s in prison facing five life sentences, states away from his family sitting in a prison cell 23 hours out of the day. Before this tragedy and during his legal hearing we did see an array of emotions out of Chris. Emotions are more than just crying or looking somber. Yes, even anger is an emotion. Click play on any of Shanann’s videos where Chris is in it; you see a man who showed emotion.
“When the FBI & CBI came to speak with me, I had no idea they were coming. I felt like it was god telling me to clear my wife’s name since so many people were confused about what happened. And, well when god tells you to do something, you do it!”
—If what he is said was the truth, it would have been, “I felt like it was god telling me to tell the truth.” Which if he’s guilty and if what he said was truth would then automatically clear Shanann’s name. Chris specifically says though, “Clear his wife’s name.” Hmmm.
“…they did not tell him they were coming intentionally. They told him they did not want to put stress on him, perhaps they did not want to give him time to think about what he was going to say.”
—Chris spent time in solitary in the Weld county jail and has been in prison for 3/4 of a year now, totaling 14 months. At the time of the second confession, it had been 6 long months. He had a significant amount of time to compile a story, knowing one day someone would ask. Near the end of the second confession, when discussing writing his story, Chris spoke of having a creative imagination and history of being a story teller. I say that’s quite accurate; this story he is now telling is over-the-top creative. He likely would have done well writing for a sitcom. Sheesh.
Dear readers and listeners,
I will continue right on to part two as soon as I click publish on this one. I am far from completing the entire analysis of the book. Please remember I am covering almost 300 pages. For a thorough analysis, I need to cover it in its entirety. I want to be clear the purpose of these posts are not to convince you to believe as I do! The purpose is to apply critical thinking skills, logic, common sense, and knowledge in the quest for truth. Either parent could have been capable of murder in any given awful circumstance. I hope that my words opens minds enough to explore all possibilities. Not just with this case but with anything in life. Stopping before reacting to what we see and hear, and waiting for the information to be fully disclosed before arriving at an conclusion. I respect everyone’s opinion and I enjoy debating the case. With it never being proven on who murdered the children no one is right or wrong. When I hear an opinion I appreciate it more when that opinion is backed up. Many times throughout this case you are met with, “he’s guilty because of the oil no loving father would do that.” Others say “he’s guilty he had an affair he wanted a new life.” While possible those may be true (we have no idea) they are backed by literally nothing and is a snap emotional reaction. Please remember not everything is as it seems. With the Watts family not everything was as it looked on Facebook. With so many lies involved in this case from basically everyone, the biggest lie was that the Watts family was perfect.
You know who was perfect? Those two beautiful innocent little girls and an unborn baby. They were victims of their parents’ marriage that likely should have never been. Their lives robbed early one summer morning.
I’ll be back soon…
True Crime Case Analysis